LOS ANGELES -- After losing their initial two contests after the All-Star break, the Los Angeles Clippers attempt to bounce back against the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday at Staples Center.
The Clippers (35-23) lost consecutive games to the Golden State Warriors on Thursday and the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, the two teams that boast the NBA's best records. Although point guard Chris Paul returned to the lineup against the Spurs, he and the Clippers faded late in a 105-97 loss at home.
Paul, who missed 14 games after undergoing surgery on his left thumb, finished with 17 points, six rebounds and five assists in 33 minutes.
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"We couldn't get stops and there was a lot of fouling," said Paul, who also had two steals and four turnovers. "We didn't execute and a lot of that has to do with some of the sets that I was calling. I had some turnovers, but it is all part of the process."
The process of jelling and returning to their top form could take a few games for the Clippers.
"Chris hadn't played and you could see that," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "We played on one side of the floor for most of the night (Friday). It felt like the same way when Blake (Griffin) came back the first game. We were moving, but we just weren't in sync."
The Clippers look to regain their rhythm against the Hornets, who they have beaten five straight times and six in a row at Staples. The Hornets haven't beaten the Clippers in the City of Angels since Feb. 28, 2009.
In the last five meetings, Los Angeles averaged 10 points in margin of victories over Charlotte. The Clippers also outshot the Hornets 47.8 to 41 percent in that span. And, they have limited Charlotte to 29 percent while making 40.4 percent of their attempts from long distance.
The last time they faced each other, the Clippers earned a 107-102 victory Feb. 11 at Charlotte. Jamal Crawford scored 22 points to pace the Clippers.
The Hornets (25-33) are playing the second game of a back-to-back and their third contest in four days. With Frank Kaminsky leading the way with 25 points and 13 rebounds, Charlotte defeated the host Sacramento Kings 99-85 on Saturday.
Kaminsky, who is averaging 17.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists in his past nine games, helped the Hornets snap a five-game losing streak. They also ended a 12-game skid on the road.
Marvin Williams had 16 points, Nicolas Batun scored 15 and Belinelli added 13 points with six assists for the Hornets, who prevailed despite shooting 40 percent from the field.
"Frank was good," Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. "And I thought Marco hit some big shots for us. Hopefully, we can turn this into a trend."
The Hornets played again without forward Miles Plumlee (calf strain) and center Cody Zeller (quadriceps soreness). Plumless sat out his second straight game, while Zeller missed his fifth consecutive contest and 12th in the last 13 games.
The availability of the two for Sunday is unknown.